|Snaefell Mountain Railway|
The Snaefell Mountain Railway is an electric mountain railway connecting the town of Laxey with the summit of Snaefell, at 2,036 feet (620.6 m) above sea level the highest point on the Isle of Man. It connects with the Manx Electric Railway (MER) in Laxey. The line is five miles (8 km) long, built to 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge and uses a Fell centre rail for braking on the steep gradients. It is electrified using overhead wires at 550 volts direct current, with bow collectors.
OperationEditServices operate at regular intervals between April and September, taking 30 minutes for a one-way journey. There is no winter service: the overhead wires on the exposed upper part of the route are dismantled to avoid damage from icing. All passenger traffic is carried in six wooden-bodied electric railcars, built in 1895 and numbered 1 to 6. Car 5 was burnt out in an accident in 1970 and its body is a replacement built in 1971 to a similar design. The cars were re-equipped in the late 1970s with new bogies to a design based on the original, using motors and traction equipment from withdrawn Aachen trams.
Because of the different gauge and the centre rail, vehicles cannot inter-run between the railway and the 3 ft gauge MER. Railway vehicles are occasionally worked to the MER workshops at Douglas by swapping their bogies, and to aid this there is a dual gauge siding in Laxey. The railway is owned and operated by Isle of Man Transport, a department of the Isle of Man government.
A list of the various rolling stock found on the SMR.
- Passenger stock
- 1 Built 1895 by G F Milnes.
- 2 Built 1895 by G F Milnes.
- 3 Built 1895 by G F Milnes.
- 4 Built 1895 by G F Milnes.
- 5 Built 1895 by G F Milnes. Severely damaged by fire on 16 August 1970. Rebuilt and re-entered service in 1971.
- 6 Built 1895 by G F Milnes.
- Freight stock
- 7 Maria Used to convey coal from Laxey to the power station near Bungalow. Borrowed traction bogies from other passenger vehicles as required.
- Air Ministry / CAA vehicles.
Wickham Trolley arrived 1951, in Air Force Blue livery. Repainted into yellow and black in the 1960s. Sold to Manx Electric Railway in 1977.
Wickham Trolley arrived 1957, in Air Force Blue livery. Repainted into yellow and black in the 1960s.
Wickham Trolley Mk 3/4/20, Works No. 10956. Arrived 1977.
- Departmental stock
- Goodwyn, Mike (1993). Manx Electric. Platform 5 Publishing Ltd.. ISBN 1-872524-52-4.
- Hendry, R. (1993) Rails in the Isle of Man: A Colour Celebration, Midland Publishing Limited, ISBN 1-85780-009-5
- MERS Online (2002) The Manx Electric Railway : Outline History www site, Manx Electric Railway Society [accessed 23 August 2004]
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